I’m #85…

 …in the MLBlogs’ Top 100 Fan Blogs of 2008.

Thanks, guys.

So I’m rewarding my readers with an awesomely epic post (except not really very epic) with most of my important memorabilia.  So here goes.

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This is my first autographed ball.  It came from batting practice at a Corpus Christi Hooks game in July 2007–the game where Brandon Backe rehabbed from his TJ surgery.  Yes, the long drive to Corpus was worth the game.  Whataburger Field is beautiful.  The only important autographs are JR Towles, Brad James, Edwin Maysonet, and Lou Santangelo (he was suspended for steroids, that’s the only reason I care).  I have since gotten a picture with and another autograph from JR.

GEDC0514.JPGThis ball was autographed by Zack Parker of the Texas Rangers system.  I’m not sure where he is right now, but he was playing for the Frisco RoughRiders when this turned up in one of the suites at their stadium when my friend attended a game.  Oh, and FYI, all my autographed baseballs have their own plastic cubes on my designated baseball shelf.  This particular baseball smells extremely good.
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This, my friends, is a TriStar-certified Craig Biggio-autographed 2005 World Series ball.  I have the papers, and I also have a beautiful print of The Man himself.  This was a birthday gift from my brother.  It has never come out of its plastic cube while in my possession.

GEDC0520.JPGThis hat was my 2008 autograph hat.  I worked hard on this hat.  Eight hours a day for five spring training games and I got a bunch of guys, plus almost all the pitching staff on a ball for my friend Andrew at Astros From Afar (see “My Blog Addictions”).  José Valverde and Reggie Abercrombie are two of the funniest guys I’ve ever met, and Dave Borkowski is so nice and also quite funny.  The only signature I can’t identify is the leftmost on the whole cap and it looks like it says “Hot @$$” which makes zero sense but, whatever.  The only two autographs on this hat from the regular season are Michael Bourn’s (the particularly dark one on the brim under the right side of the star) and Hunter Pence’s (near the top point of the star).  I’ve also got Backe, Carlos Lee, Miguel Tejada, José Cruz, Sr., and Cecil Cooper, among others.  Chris Sampson is such a sweetheart, and I accidentally met JR Towles’ then-girlfriend (now-wife).

GEDC0522a.JPG This is my 2007 autograph hat.  Most notably, Hunter Pence, my first autograph, signed on the underside of the brim instead of the top, so I asked him a few weeks later to sign it again, and he did.  I heard Tal Smith speak, and he’s in the top of the panel just above the Astros logo.  Drayton McLane, who I chased down on the main concourse of Minute Maid Park as he went to his office, is just below Tal.  Also making appearances are Woody Williams (ha), Brad Ausmus, Chris Sampson, Eric Bruntlett, Matt Albers, José Cruz, Sr., Luke Scott (my love), Trever Miller, and Morgan Ensberg.  The pin on the left side is the Sunshine Kids’ pin, Craig Biggio’s official charity.
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This is my 2008 Rockies autograph cap.  Yorvit Torrealba, Manny Corpas, Ubaldo Jimenez, Ryan Spilborghs, Matt Holliday, Jeff Francis, and Troy Tulowitzki have all signed this hat.  Let me tell you, away games are the way to go.  I got my picture with Tulo (and almost passed out, because you know how I get about him ♥), spoke Spanish to Yorvit and Ubaldo, and gave Micah Bowie a high-five even though he couldn’t sign autographs.  The two girls next to me had Ryan Spilborghs shirts on and he signed those and they talked, and I met one of my best friends at these three games.  Plus, hallo, MATT HOLLIDAY aka MR AMAZING SHINY CRANIUM AND BIG ARMS.  And Tulo ♥

GEDC0523.JPGI made this poster in the beginning of the 2007 season when I fell head-over-heels for Hunter Pence, who also happens to be the whole reason I started watching baseball again.  So I made this sign, and while I obtained his autograph on my hat my best friend held it up behind me, and then he saw it, cracked up, and reached for it.  She handed it to him and he signed it with a big ol’ smiley face.  It makes me grin just to look at it, and he has consistently remained one of the nicest players I’ve met.  He saved my life at Spring Training–the fans were smushing me against the fence, and he looked at me and said, “Guys, guys, you’re squishing The Girl!” and I was like, “OHMYGOD I’M THE GIRL!”  And he also signed a t-shirt for my niece, so I pretty much love his arms him.

GEDC0615.JPGThis is a Joey Votto rookie card that I got in one of the $2.77 packs of Topps in the Astros Team Store.  When the Cincinnati Reds played here just after Hurricane Ike, I talked to Jay Bruce for a while (and got my picture with him) and then got Joey Votto, aka Mr. I’m-Gonna-Cuss-Like-a-Sailor-Even-Though-There-Are-Kids-And-Women-Around.  He has a seriously dirty mouth–he thought I couldn’t hear him but I could.  And Adam Rosales, aka Rosie, is ADORABLE.  I also tried to get Micah Owings’ and Josh Fogg’s autographs but I didn’t see Micah and Josh wasn’t traveling with them because he was on the 60-day.

Also, it snowed last night, so here’s a picture:

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That’s the snow on my Biggio t-shirt.  The flakes got the size of quarters within three hours of this picture, and I ate snow and played on the roof by scooping snowballs off the grill cover and the table and chairs for a couple hours.  SO MUCH FUN.  First snow since 2004, can you believe it?  FINALLY.  SNOW, ILU.

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